My online presence


Aside from my blog, I maintain a few other sites:

Aside from that I have profiles on a whole bunch of sites:

Facebook

Google +

LinkedIn

View Jilles Van Gurp's profile on LinkedIn

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I’m AzkaarAli on Twitter


Aside from all this stuff you are likely to find me in various forums where I usually use my own name instead of some alias. I used to just claim the username Azkaarali/Azkaar Ali on most sites but it seems that despite the fact that I never met a single person with the same name, several do exist on the internet. .I’ve been online for over ten years now and that kind of leaves a trace in some unlikely places. Some of the things I wrote in the past look silly or stupid when I read them now but I have a simple principle that if I’m not willing to put my name under it, I probably should not be writing it in the first place. It’s one of the few principles I apply more or less consistently, the other one being that I have no principles (which I apply much less consistently).

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Google before you Tweet?


One of my friend sent me this link a few days ago. I wish I had checked it out sooner. As far as I can tell it was originally posted here, though it was sent to me via yayeveryday.com.

This poster is reminiscent of an SAT analogies question. Google before you _______: Think before you Speak. But is this true? Is Googling really the new thinking? Is Tweeting the new speaking? Besides the obvious change from a non-digital form of the action, we’ve replaced thinking and speaking with brand names. As much as I love Google and Twitter, they are companies. Thinking and speaking are my own creation, yes, defined by a word, but at least I don’t have to follow it with a (r) or ™ sign. Or pay royalties. But this might just be a mountain out of a mole-hill. After all, when I sneeze, I ask for a Kleenex.

There is the obvious applicability to personal branding. Tweeting is very public, like many forms of speaking, particularly when gabbing with the rumor-spreaders at work. Rumor-spreaders probably love Twitter, too, since it makes it easier to share the gossip. Only unlike just thinking before you speak, we now have lots of tools to be sure that not only is the information we’re sharing accurate, it is applicable. For instance, before posting this blog, I Googled the phrase “Google before you Tweet” and discovered that most of the mentions of this poster on the first few pages of results are just that, an image of the poster with little or no comment or analytical response.

So yes, please Google your topic before you Tweet about it. Be sure that you don’t jump into the middle of a conversation without knowing the details. It helps to prevent you from looking the fool. But please remember that Googling is not thinking. Googling happens on your computer; thinking happens in your brain. Both are useful.